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Twins 6, White Sox 4: so close, yet so so far

If there’s a worse way to extend a losing streak to seven, swallow it, no one wants to hear from you.

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Back in happier times, oh, say, the first pitch of the game, Tim Anderson sent it over the wall.
David Berding/Getty Images

After six consecutive losses, including being swept by the Cleveland Guardians, Chicago faced the Minnesota Twins for the final game of this weekend’s series and a six-game road trip — and at least some White Sox came to win.

First pitch in some rainfall didn’t hold the team back, as it started strong, but an error-riddled seventh inning saw them lose another lead and took the game to extras. The Twins eventually won the game, 6-4, and I think I speak for everybody when I say, JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL.

Before the fall, it all began like a dream.

First pitch? First home run. Tim Anderson put the Sox on the board immediately, with a homer over the wall in left field. After a few shaky performances from the shortstop recently, it was a sigh of relief to see Anderson start the game off strong. Starting pitcher Chris Archer stayed on the mound for the Twins for three innings, and Chicago got some good contact, even if it didn’t always translate to runs.

Anderson also stole his way around the diamond to get a second run for the Sox in the third inning, solidifying that Timmy was back with a vengeance.

In the hottest news of the day, Lucas Giolito returned from the injured list for his first start since Opening Day. The right-handed pitcher landed on the IL with abdominal strain in Detroit, and despite some very concerning moments with shaky control, he was back in fine form today. With particular focus on high fastballs and changeups, Giolito spun nine strikeouts in four innings, giving up just one run — certainly not a bad return. He exited with a 2-1 lead.

Tanner Banks took over for Giolito for the fifth inning and immediately got to work, but only stayed until midway through the sixth. Reynaldo López came in with a one-run lead and a man on base, and faced the real challenge of the game with the bullpen door (which took the united efforts of three men to open — it was a “pull,” not push). Thankfully, that was where López’s struggles ended, as he backed up the efforts of Giolito and Banks with two strikeouts.

Danny Mendick took the opportunity to widen Chicago’s lead in the seventh inning, belting the second Sox home run today, this off of Minnesota pitcher Josh Winder. With a base hit in the fourth and a homer in the seventh, it certainly wasn’t a bad game for Mendick.

Could the White Sox win here? Could this be the game that breaks the losing streak?!

ENTER: Aaron Bummer, and whatever the heck he’s calling his performance this season.

Bummer came in to pitch the seventh inning, and things promptly started to fall apart in a major way. With an ultimately costly walk putting on a man on first, Byron Buxton smashed a home run out to right field to tie up the game, 3-3. Bummer was throwing straight junk off the mound, allowing another walk and every Sox fan to lose any remaining faith in him before the inning was out.

Kendall Graveman took over in the eighth inning and allowed a walk, before two bases were pilfered because of defensive errors that are becoming far too familiar for the Sox this season. Another walk, another reason for us to collectively scream into our pillows, a diving catch-and-roll to give us hope, then another walk to load the bases for the Twins because WHY THE HELL NOT AT THIS POINT.

After nothing of note for ninth inning offense, all hopes and dreams were pinned on Liam Hendriks to keep it tied and send the game to a 10th — which he did. In accordance with the continuing 10th inning rule, Mendick entered on second base as the last runner in. Anderson moved him over to third, and a hit over to right field by Yasmani Grandal saw Mendick put another run on the board for the Sox.

Unfortunately, it couldn’t save the game for Chicago. Buxton smashed out his second home run of the game with two on, and Minnesota won 6-4.

This is the seventh loss in a row for the White Sox, and it is extremely frustrating. Sloppy mistakes on both offense and defense are making a fantastic team look like garbage. This current roster has World Series potential, but a Twins sweep immediately after a Guardians sweep is certainly not flashing it.

With the loss of Eloy Jiménez for a projected six to eight weeks after suffering a hamstring strain yesterday, Chicago’s IL seems to be the go-to spot this season, and today’s game didn’t offer too much hope for the roster left standing. This leaves the White Sox at 6-9, which is a long way from stellar — but it is still very early in the season. Let’s hope the team has gotten this slump out of their system early, and can come back strong at home as they start a series against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.